At least it’s a start. While the Congressional “Super Committee” assigned to find $1.5 trillion in deficit reductions surely may butt heads until its deadline Nov. 23, a non-partisan financial study has recommended reductions of more than $1 trillion with appeal across the political divide.
The U.S. Public Interest Research Group (USPIRG) and the National Taxpayers Union (NPU), although holding widely different views on tax and spending issues, joined to combine their financial know-how to identify programs that both Democrats and Republicans should see as wasteful and inefficient.
Obama has made it even more difficult with his plan to cut more than $3 trillion off the debt. Close to half of the president’s pay-down plan would come from taxes on high–income earners and corporations. Specifically, just those who could help solve the unemployment quagmire. Obama would also cut deductions for charitable giving and mortgage interest deductions for those evil high-income earners.
Obama’s petty hatred of petroleum producers and drug companies called for taking $52 billion from oil and gas producers by changing their accounting rules and snatching some $52 billion from pharmaceutical firms.
Federal workers and retirees, along with veterans, would pay more toward their pensions. Air travelers would pay higher fees, which would raise about $25 billion. Stuck on his view of the villainy of corporate jet owners, Obama would have them pay their “fair share” by charging $100 a flight to bring in $16 billion.
Meanwhile, the NPU and the USPIRG put their fingers on 54 specific reductions in federal spending. They included:
- $214.9 billion in savings by crossing out wasteful subsidies to agribusiness firms and other corporations.
- $428.8 billion in savings by ending low-priority and unneeded military programs.
- $232.3 billion in savings from improvements in government operations.
- $132.1 billion in savings from reforming major entitlement programs.
Study co-author Andrew Moylan, government affairs vice president of the National Taxpayers Union, said that through the din of partisan rancor, “there is actually a large amount of agreement between watchdog groups, both right and left, about where the waste is in the budget.” Co-author Dan Smith, Tax and Budget expert with USPIRG, said, “These recommendations correct years of inside lobbying that has benefited narrow interests…”
“Each recommendation,” the two organization said in their study, includes a ten-year estimate “backed up by such authoritative sources such as the Congressional Budget Office, Government Accountability Office, Office of Management and Budget, or bipartisan working groups.”
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